Old School Hack Hacked Into Fictive Hack: the Simple Book!

I am taking this:

And I am hacking it into this:

fictive hack of osh 8.12

Let us celebrate a year since I first discovered Old School Hack! My first post referring to Old School Hack was on August 12, 2011. The following week, I got started with working to support the game, and as my experience and design evolved, eventually hacking out a whole new version of it.

This is not the Basic Player’s Book that’s drafted that I’m working on–no, this one is 27 pages, one longer than the original. If you want to play something very like Old School Hack but developed in a different direction, this game may be what you’re after. If you find my work interesting, but also TL:DR, check this out.


  • Most of the rules are in one page increments.
  • The same 7 templates are here.
  • Still have an awesome point economy, arenas, attribute checks, fast and loose improvisational style, and sharing of talents.
  • The game is a hell of a lot of fun.


  • Armor class is a mix of damage reduction and difficulty to hit.
  • Players can make characters with one OR two templates to start; you can do race-as-class OR race-and-class at the same table! Also combine multiple templates for humans, for wizard-thief, fighter-cleric, etc.
  • Different way of explaining the Awesome Point economy.
  • Downgraded meta-plot player control through Awesome Points.
  • Consolidation and simplification of some sub-systems in the combat round, like how to manage pushing/throwing, what attributes to use for different actions, etc.
  • There are three classifications of talents: open, restricted, and exclusive. All talents are not shared equally.
  • No explicit niche protection.
  • Talents can be upgraded and improved.
  • Any character can buy more Wounds.
  • System included for learning musical instruments and languages.
  • Tightened up gear load-out at generation; less gear on templates.
  • Differentiation between thrown-only ranged weapons, and thrown-or-light weapons, and encumbrance consequence.
  • A little more encumbrance detail.
  • All 7 templates have been completely redone.
  • No level titles or limits. In fact, you can level up to the teens easily.
  • No more d12; everything is d10.
  • For monsters, added a “swarm” category and changed the name of “guards” to “toughs” as well as rules for spreading damage among weak foes.
  • Some less whimsical guidance for magic objects.
  • Shift in design style: bigger darker text, fewer fonts, portrait orientation, no pictures.
  • Shift in tone: still based on “awesome” but less breezy and informal.
  • Addition of “Medium” armor classification.
  • Lots more.

Differences between this Fictive Hack and the Fictive Hack Basic Player’s Book (not yet done):

  • This simpler version does not allow transitioning from one base template to another.
  • Black powder is left out altogether; no cannons, gun, or bombs.
  • Only 7 templates.
  • Nothing on mounts, beasts of burden, or vehicles.
  • Vastly simplified magic object guidance.
  • No poisons or diseases.
  • No canticles or pantheon.
  • No grimores, scrolls, or potions.
  • No familiars or witches.
  • No curses or fortunetelling.
  • No crippling.
  • Very basic ranged weaponry; no accounting for longbows, heavy crossbows, etc.
  • Lots more.

So, for a very simple version, this will do! I’ll keep working on the deeper, wider, more embroidered version for those who are interested, and for those who want rules-lite bare-bones–I give you this book.

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8 Responses to Old School Hack Hacked Into Fictive Hack: the Simple Book!

  1. Karlen says:

    Hey, when are you making a forum so we can talk Fictive Hack?

  2. Tim D. says:

    No time now, but looking forward to diving into this!

  3. fictivite says:

    @Karlen: I’ll get to work on that…

    @Tim: I’m interested in what you think.

  4. fictivite says:

    Okay, it’s not fancy, but it’s a start.

  5. Karlen says:

    Rock on. I’ll jump on. If you need me to convert some of the OSH resources from the other site onto this forum let me know.

  6. fictivite says:

    @Karlen: Hm. What would be some candidates for conversion?

  7. Karlen says:

    Well what books are you including in Fictive Hack? Are you keeping the Gods set and the big book of extended classes?

    • fictivite says:

      I’ll be making material for three settings–the World Between, the Breathing World, and Hyrule. The basic book will default to the Breathing World.

      I’ll be updating Portable Pantheon, and I’ll also be doing a much bigger player book that should work for the Breathing World, and I’m not sure how I’ll be working between that and the World Between; the World Between will probably have a system-neutral book come out that has information that works regardless what system you use. And maybe a smaller book with rules in Fictive Hack. Still unsure.

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